Thursday, October 23, 2014

When Your Mood Interferes with Your Reading (and How to Fix It)




Hiiii, it's me, grumpy guts again. I'm still very much in need of coffee and comfort reads, as outlined in my last post, and without delving into too many details about why (I mean, you know why), I'll just come out and say: I'm in a reading rut and a blogging slum. I've fallen and I can't get up. And that happens! Blogging is the kind of hobby that draws so much from you, relying on that endless well of fangirlishness energy deeeep insiiide your fangirl sooooul. Like any form of writing, it comes from your brain and heart, and--surprise!--your brain and heart are part of you. So when YOU are affected by something, your writing gets affected.

I haven't been able to muster the energy to write any posts this week (besides this one. Um. Obviously). I noodled a bit with some reviews, but they were do depressingly limp that I just couldn't bring myself to hit "post". So I thought, fine. A blogging break may be just what the doctor ordered. It'll five me a chance to catch up on my reading.

TROLOLOLOL. Yeah... no.

As it turns out, reading is ALSO a hobby hugely affected by your mood! Who'da thunk? (I have no idea who to properly grammar that grammarily improper sentence.) I described reading a few weeks ago as shooting, casting, and directing your own little mini mind movie, and it turns out, my mental director and cinematographer are on strike. I pick up a perfectly good book, and the set decorator goes, "Eh... constructing that setting is too much effort." I try to get into a scene, and my directer just shrugs and nudges me to go back to binge-watching Gilmore Girls.

SHUT UP MIND-DIRECTOR
(My head is possibly a very strange place.)

So I am officially in both a blogging and reading slump, which, if you know anything about blogging or logic, you will realize is not conducive to running a reading blog. SO WHAT DO I DO ABOUT THIS EMERGENCY?

Try re-reading. I talked about this in my coffee and comfort reads post, but one of the few things I was able to pick up in the mist of my brain-fogged funk was an old favorite that I know by heart. It was like only half-reading, and I skipped the bits I didn't want and gloried in the kiss scenes bits I did.

Head for the backlist. When I'm high on reading mojo, there's nothing I love more that conquering my blogging TBR pile. I basically award myself a mental medal these days (because it's been crazybusy in Gillianland) if I review a review book before release date. Sadly, ruts do not respond to pressure, so to get out of one, I take for a spin the glorious unreads hanging out on my shelfs that I always say I want to get to but never truly do. Fabulously no pressure, and you won't have to write any awkward emails if you DNF.

Fluff. Nothing, and I mean nothing, cures my soul like a good fluffy read. My true love, genre-wise, is high fantasy, and while excellent high fantasy can also heals the holes in my heart (or, um, something that doesn't sound like a very cheesy country song), that comes with high potential for BRUTAL SADS. But fluff? Oh, I need the fluff. I need the banter and funnies and kissing and romps and lightness and sunshine and happy endings.

Let myself be rutted. This reading rut is so heavily affected by something external that I have no control over. I have a feeling it won't truly be banished until I feel better. So sometimes it truly does help to take a break from the books. Don't force it. If the reading ain't happenin', it ain't happenin', you know? And I'm pretty sure that, if I don't read antyhing for a little while, I'll start to crave some books. It's like taking a vacation. Sure, you're enjoying the time off for a bit, but soom you get homesick. And books are home.

https://31.media.tumblr.com/383f4f87aa233607145f2d22a9e48fed/tumblr_mnw41xRDr01s9xurto1_500.gif
I'm sorry that was so sappy I don't even know who I am

How do you guys deal with blogging and reading ruts? Are you feeling the fatigue and sadness that I'm feeling? How do you get out of it?

13 comments:

  1. Usually when I get into a slump, I let myself get rutted out. Like you said, sometimes your just need a break! Especially as a college student because there's no such thing as sleep and I don't even know what free time is anymore. But I do love me some good fluff and I usually turn to historical romance because banter and sexy times and history (I'm such a nerd).

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  2. I'm currently going through the same thing. Usually, I just keep picking up books and starting them until something grabs me. It happens eventually. But I also don't put pressure on myself about it. It'll happen when it happens.

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  3. I'm in the same situation as you.... I just force myself to read a book... It always helped my to get out of this hole. And with the bloggin... I can't force myself for this too. So I just wait until it gets better :)

    hugs from Anna

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  4. reading slumps are soooo tough. They really are. I know when I'm in one I want to read so badly, but nothing is working. I can't concentrate on it, and before I know it I've taken a five minute break that lasted 2 hours of me just watching Youtube videos.

    I think all of you advice is perfect when we get stuck in those ruts. I also, sometimes, think that it helps to give yourself a specific amount of time - say 45 minutes - that you will read and not do anything else. Set the stopwatch on your phone if you need to, and read those 45 minutes. I often find that helps me get reading done, and helps me get over slumps because then I get into the story.

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  5. I completely agree with re-reading (well, for me, it's more like re-skimming my favorite parts) and reading fluff! Those generally get me out of any reading funks. Or really good smut. =)

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  6. I've been trying to dig myself out of a blogging and reading slump. I took some time off, but I'm still struggling to get back into the swing of things... especially when Gilmore Girls on netflix keeps luring me in.

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  7. Sometimes letting yourself be rutted isn't a bad idea. I just keep reading other things hoping to eventually find something awesome. Or take a break, which is sometimes needed too.

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  8. As someone who suffers from chronic fatigue, you're totally right about letting yourself be rutted. Getting frustrated at yourself only prolongs the badness, and since mood has a biochemical connection, of COURSE everything gets affected by it. I find, for me, a little light exercise (if I can manage it) and checking something off my 'I'm being productive" list lifts my spirits. But creative exercises are the fastest way to pull out of a rut- crafting something, or a quick journaling exercise, or just looking at some art for a while. Gotta refresh the brain and let it heal. And I eagerly (but patiently) await you to slog through the rut and come back to blogging and reviewing (but don't rush it- you've already extended my TBR pile significantly by making some books sound too good to pass by).

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  9. ARE WE THE SAME PERSON?

    No, but seriously I am having the worst blogging and reading slump because of my mood because of personal things and you know the whole publishing industry seeming to lose it's damn mind. Just, ugh, all I want to do is binge Gilmore Girls and eat things and watch twitter. I am trying to get back to reading by making myself read a chapter of The Winner's Crime each day, because after one chapter I usually want a lot more of that book. Also, now before I go to bed, I put my audiobook on sleep timer through audible which helps at least to get me through a small bit of reading and my pile.

    Just, I am glad you wrote this post, I know this wasn't your intention but it really spoke to me and made me feel not at all alone with this mood.

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  10. Cake. Find a very good cake. Proceed to eat it. All. You're welcome.

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  11. A few years ago I took an entire year off of reading, my slump was that bad. And it was ok to do this. I don't force myself to read (or blog) if I'm not in the mood, because blogging AND reading are hobbies, not paid jobs :) Why not just take a break from both and focus on other things, and then come back to them when the mood strikes?

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  12. This post spoke to me SO MUCH. I'm in a reading slump too, and instead of forcing myself through books I've decided to let myself be rutted. I'm finding that listening to an audiobook helps, because I'm still absorbing a book, just in a different way. I've got a nonfiction audiobook right now, and the other night I just listened to it while knitting for about an hour, and it was actually super relaxing and not stressful at all.

    Hope you feel better soon!

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  13. I'm actually...in the exact same boat right now. Fantasy is my go-to favourite, but I just can not handle the feels right now, since I've got too much going on in that front already. And I know I'm in trouble when I can't even bring up the willpower to reread! Last week I was definitely in a "Let's read all the fluff! The sweeter the better!" But now I'm...back to being stuck. Looks like I'll be right with you watching Gilmore Girls! (YES THANK YOU NETFLIX IT'S ABOUT TIME! I will finally see all the Gilmore Girls episodes instead of random reruns!)

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